It always seemed to me that case histories of recovered cancer patients would be so helpful to the person looking for answers for their own cancer problem. It has since occurred to me that stories about the people who failed and why might be even more informative.
This is the story of Barbara who called FACT looking for information. She had had a pap smear and the result was positive. She was adamantly opposed to any invasive treatment or even diagnostic techniques like x-rays or biopsies. We talked on the phone and she decided a good way for her to acquire more knowledge would be to help in the office as a volunteer.
Barbara came in once a week. She was a beautiful woman, a model, who looked about 25 years old, but couldn’t have been as she had a son and daughter in their twenties. She spent about six months doing filing, typing and answering the telephone until her personal schedule changed and she no longer had the time to do volunteer work. After that I didn’t see or hear from her for about 5 years.
One day she finally called again. She now had a breast tumor. I was puzzled as to what she had been doing during the five previous years. We spoke at length about it as I couldn’t understand how she could have developed a breast tumor if she was following a system which she must have understood while working in the FACT office. The system is designed to strengthen host resistance. While not 100% foolproof, it can be considerably effective. She said she had gone to Dr. Emanual Revici, a resource we did not favor as his treatment did not fulfill our standard of being biologically and metabolically sound. Barbara was aware of FACT’s evaluation of Revici’s work from being a volunteer, but chose to follow her own path anyway.
She had been seeing a psychiatrist whom I knew. I called him and said that I didn’t think we could help Barbara because she seemed to be headed in a direction that was not compatible with our standards. He said she may have a death wish, but he had instructed her to listen carefully and follow our advice.
At that time I was meeting with about 10 carefully selected patients as an experiment to see if patients, who were well informed and had an opportunity to air all their questions and doubts in a group situation, could improve their chances of recovery and make life less worrisome and stressful. We covered just about anything that would be helpful for a cancer patient. Whenever some new information came through the FACT office it was discussed in the group. If I visited new clinics, I always gave a report to them. The purpose was to keep them abreast of all their options so they could make informed decisions. I invited Barbara to join the group. We were meeting every Saturday morning for about 3 hours. I felt this was a useful arrangement as 10 people heard the answers to each one’s questions adding to their ability to be informed medical consumers.
After about a year of meeting with the group, Barbara developed a fever. Natural healers always considered fever a healing mechanism. Fever therapy, or to use the more professional term hyperthermia – is an anti-cancer therapy. It is a system where body temperature is raised artificially to as high as 107.5 degrees. Barbara was aware of hyperthermia, nevertheless, her fever made her over-anxious. That was exactly the type of reaction that I had hoped to avoid by the group meetings.
In spite of knowing about hyperthermia, she called one day to say she had decided to go to Mexico for immunotherapy. She already had her plane reservation and her appointment at the immunotherapy clinic for Sunday just two days later. I warned her that immunotherapy was the wrong choice at that time as the fever was a symptom of natural immune activity.
I don’t want to give the impression here that we were or are opposed to immunotherapy. Indeed, FACT was among the first to fund research in this area about 20 years ago. But the treatment must be used appropriately. Barbara’s fever indicated that her immune system had become active spontaneously. To add immunotherapy at this point would be over stimulating and physiologically too great a burden for her body to handle. It would be like beating a tired horse. She took my advice and cancelled her plane reservation and clinic appointment. On the following Sunday she called again, said she had changed her mind and reported she would be leaving for the clinic on Wednesday. This time after an extended telephone conversation, I was unable to convince her that immunotherapy was a dangerous choice.
After about two weeks at the clinic, Barbara called to say she was feeling poorly. I urged her to leave the clinic and come home, but she insisted on staying. A week later she called again to say she could no longer manage to take care of herself, so she had asked her daughter to join her in San Diego to help her take care of her needs. The next call I received, about one week later, came from a New York hospital. Her daughter had brought her back and entered her into a hospital immediately. Barbara was now very sick; she needed hospital care. Her situation had become desperate.
I never heard from her again! One member of the group, after trying to reach Barbara by telephone and being told the phone was disconnected, decided to visit her home. Her name was no longer listed in the building directory. I had to assume she had died.
This was a sad and painful experience for both the patients in the group and me. I believe if she had followed my guidance, the result of many years of experience, she would have been a cancer survivor. But human beings are more than flesh and bone. There is a psyche; psychological factors which cannot be overlooked. On a physiological level she probably would have had an excellent opportunity to become a recovered patient, but for some reason, Barbara needed to follow her own motivation. Though she had access to excellent resources and was intelligent enough to understand the value of the information, she seemed to go out of her way to fulfill her destiny.